Why are we not allowed to fly commercially? Seriously, give me one reason besides "safety" (This article pertains to small drone operators only - phantoms etc..)

So my guess as to why we are not allowed to fly drones commercially is because like everything else we would try to do as "Free American Citizens" that is highly regulated, we stand to make $$$ and that threatens the powers that be.

Simple solution, if someone causes damage or disrupts any sort of business, military, federal or state function...they are responsible for said damage/disruption. Fine them THEN, not when they are trying to make a life for themselves or feed their families. When threatened with fines and jail time, good people usually stay away from actions that end in those results.

The options for us as entrepreneurs and explorers are dwindling by the day and here is this new and exciting technology that is about to be taken away from us before we even understand it. Where does it stop from here? Flying cars, teleporting devices, new toasters and microwaves will all be owned and regulated only by the wealthy policy makers. We are talking about the same government that is making it illegal to feed the homeless in cities and taking the religious values that built this country out of everyday life. I am not preaching here..but if you did not notice, this country was built on the concept of being free. Free from religion, banks, monarchies, tyrants, corporations pretty much FREE! Not hard to understand...

Do not stifle the rest of our hopes and dreams and hobbies and FREEDOMS because it threatens the system. I think we can all agree the system is flawed right now anyway. Please do not tell me that is because we have too many freedoms. Go to Russia or Cuba or somewhere away from my beautiful country so we can get back to what made us the USA.

What the FAA and federal government are doing here is flat out wrong. Along with multiple other instances going on in the world right now that are just plain wrong. For the sake of argument I am trying to stay on topic and just express my feelings that I should be allowed to try and create a new business for myself devoid of an oppressive government or federal agency.

I am causing harm or damage by taking a video of my house that a want to sell...give me a break.

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Go to Transport Canada website (the equivalent to the FAA) http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/menu.htm


I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with your statement that the safety concerns for drones and full size aircraft are blown out of proportion.

To begin with, you asked if anyone has heard of a crash from an aircraft hitting birds and ducks or geese:

- Yesterday a Moroccan Air Force F-1 crashed after hitting birds.

- Last year a USAF Pave Hawk crashed after hitting birds, killing 4 crew members.

- In 1960 Eastern Airlines Flight 375 crashed after hitting birds, killing 62 people.

- In 1995 an AWACS crashed after hitting birds, killing 24 people.

- In 2004 KLM Airways Flight 1673 crashed on landing after a single bird severed a cable in the nose landing gear bay.

- In 2009 US Airways Flight 1549 ditched in the Hudson river after hitting birds

According to the USAHAS website, "Since 1995 there have been over 69,000 wildlife-aircraft strikes recorded by the United States Air Force (USAF) that killed 23 aviators, destroyed 12 aircraft, and caused more than $400 million dollars worth of equipment damage." 

But back to the topic of this thread, yes, UAVs pose a serious threat to aviation. Look at what a single bird did to KLM 1673. A "toy helicopter" could do the exact same damage. There are numerous pieces of delicate equipment that can be damaged by small UAVs: Pitot-tubes, windscreens, AOA indicator vanes, engines, landing gear, antennas, etc.

Here's an example of what happens when an aircraft has a midair with a small UAV. They didn't crash, but they came very close to doing so. Only the exceptional airmanship of the crew saved this 130. Granted, an RQ-7 is a little bit bigger than the drones you're referring to, but they will absolutely still punch a hole through the leading edge or windscreen of an aircraft, or take out an engine.

I'm sure this will be an unpopular statement, but your post demonstrates exactly why there needs to be regulation on drones. It's frightening that you think that a small UAV (or a bird) won't cause severe damage to an aircraft. I'm not saying ban people from having drones, but a certification process involving at least a short training course would go a long ways.

Your correct of course it's a concern. My point was how blown out of proportion it is in the media. I'm not an anarhcist we probably do need to look into regulations but it shouldn't be based on media hype. The fact is the odds of a small quad being involved in a mid air collision at 5000-30,000 feet is almost nil. But if you were to listen to the hype driven media it's amazing it doesn't happen every day! They need to be restricted in some way around airports sure... But other than that I think it's an overblown issue that soon some politician will run to 'craft' legislation to boost his / her poll numbers but also based on nothing more than what he saw from the bubble headed bleach blonde on the news who doesn't know a damn thing about it but will sure make it entertaining. Like the one news caster I saw that said the sun is 93 million feet from the earth not long ago. 

Of course any legislation based on the media hype cannot be good.  The media knows nearly nothing about aviation at any level, and the hype shows this.... (thinking back to a newspaper account of a Cessna 172 overtaking and crashing into the trailing edge of the wing of a 727 over San Diego...)  But also keep in mind these fears are fueled by people with drones doing stupid things... the story I just heard on the radio about "hover drones" preventing firefighting aircraft from doing their job.  If we, as a community cannot regulate our own activities, others not involved will gladly do it for us, to our detriment.  How likely such events are plays no part, only the perception it could happen.

I've noticed the same ignorance with firearms. Fully auto, semi auto,,,, a flint lock,,, hey whats the difference right? lol

Excellent post with nice supporting links, thanks. 

Note the crash between the C-130 and the RQ-7 drone mentions the poor situational awareness of drone pilots. This is something everyone operating FPV should be keenly aware of. Just because you have a FPV perspective view does NOT mean you have good situational awareness. In fact, you do not. Flying FPV beyond line of sight is playing a very risky game of Russian Roulette. Doing so at night is even more dangerous and irresponsible. 

Worthy warnings to all responsible drone pilots. 

Operating illegally is another choice. It's certainly not a good choice for any serious business, and it's definitely not recommended. But it is a choice. 

So now we've identified 3 choices:

1) Get an FAA exemption and operate commercially, legally.

2) Just complain. Don't operate commercially.

3) Operate commercially, illegally (i.e., without getting an FAA exemption).

Which choice would you advise to someone serious about operating a business? 

Clay your interpretation is not correct and not supported by case law. Faa modernization act 2012 covers uas/model aircraft until other rules are published. I believe it will be part 106 or 109. The part has already been reserved and titled. Just not published as a final rule. There are two uas/model aircraft uses. Hobby and commercial. If the use is not hobby it falls under commercial regardless of it is in furtherance of a business or not. Currently in furtherance of business is not included in uas/model aircraft nomenclature or definitions.

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